Lakshadweep is one of the worlds most spectacular tropical island systems. The precious heritage of ecology and culture is supported by an extremely fragile ecosystem. Committed to the cause of Eco tourism Union Territory of Lakshadweep has consciously followed a middle path between tourism promotion and environmental conservation. The inhabited islands are Kavaratti, Agatti, Amini, Kadmat, Kiltan, Chetlat, Bitra, Andrott, Kalpeni and Minicoy.
Lakshadweep gained prominence only after arrival of the Portuguese in India. The local tribes succeeded in ending the Portuguese invasion and the islands came under Hindu Rajah of Chirakkal. Later, the Muslim ruler - Ali Raja of Cannanore ruled the area in the mid-16th century. However, the oppressive and unbearable rule soon led the islands to seek help from Tipu Sultan in 1783. Still later, the British East India Company defeated Tipu to capture the Lakshadweep Islands after the battle of Seringapattom in 1799. By 1854 the all the islands were under the complete rule of the British. It was only in 1956, much after independence that the islands were declared a Union Territory and the archipelago was renamed Lakshadweep in 1973.
By Air: Lakshadweep has an airport in Agatti, which is regularly connected by flights from Kochi (Cochin) which linked almost all main cities in India. For traveling inside Lakshadweep, there is a helicopter service connecting Agatti Island to other major islands.
By Sea: Travelling by ship is also a good option to reach Lakshadweep which takes nearly 18 - 22 hrs to cover the distance of nearly 400 km between the island and Kerala coast.
Lakshadweep is not a destination to offer you typical shop-till-you-drop experience. People visit the island not as much for shopping in Lakshadweep, as they do for spending an unhurried leisure and scuba diving.
There is not much to shop for in Lakshadweep. You will only find the odd shops selling souvenirs made of coral shells and oysters.
If you are still keen on shopping in Lakshadweep, taking back some souvenir to remind you of the great holiday you had, you can look for classic beach handicrafts made corals shells and oysters.
Kalpeni is among the best place to shop for souvenir to take back home. There is a local handicraft store behind the Koomel resort which sells various wood work items. The most famous is the model of boats using coconut and shrub barks. Also shop for t-shirts from the hosiery unit on the eastern side of island.
There are not many places to stay here. The most popular ones are the Bangaram Island Resort and the Agatti Island Resort. There is no indigenous local population so this is an out and out tourist facility. The Bangaram Resort has cottages on the beach; a multi cuisine restaurant with a bar, a library, scuba diving gear on hire, and tons of ambiance. Catamarans, kayaks and sailboats are free; grab and go!
Besides the above, there are the islands of Kavaratti, Kalpeni, Minicoy and Kadmat and here hotels open only in the season time. There are some government-run tourist huts in these islands.
Boat rides in the lagoon
Tourists can enjoy a ride in glass-bottomed boats, to view the coral formations and colorful fishes and marine life in the lagoons at Lakshadweep. Tourists can also enjoy snorkeling from the boat as it stops near sunken shipwrecks.
Kayaking and Canoeing
Canoeing and Kayaking are very eco friendly dynamic sports activities providing physical fitness to those undertake. Kayaks, looking like cute fishing boat, are best used in Arabian Sea waters for kayaking sport. Lakshdweep offers many training facilities for naïve adventurous tourists in Kayaking and canoeing. Kavaratti and Kalpeni Islands are famous for these sports.
Divers can enjoy scuba diving in the beautiful lagoons and can see the colorful coral and marine life from up close. Visitors are urged not to damage the coral in any way. Scuba diving is practiced here with much vigor and dynamism. Water Sports Institute, located at Kadmat Islands, provides necessary equipments, Scuba diving facilities and training for the interesting visitors. Competent instructors are also available here in this Institute. Another place offering Scuba diving facilities is Dolphin Dive Center in Kavaratti, Lakshadweep.
Deep Sea Big Game Sports Fishing
Fishing enthusiasts can try deep-sea fishing during the fishing season from October 1st-May 15th only.